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Emptiness and TemporalityBuddhism and Medieval Japanese Poetics$
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Esperanza Ramirez-Christensen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780804748889

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804748889.001.0001

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Linking by Words and by Mind

Linking by Words and by Mind

Understanding, Interpretation, and Iterability

(p.122) Thirteen Linking by Words and by Mind
Emptiness and Temporality
Stanford University Press

A good link generates a feeling of tension and liberation, which is the mark that the poet has grappled with the integral meaning, “intention,” or feeling of the maeku through the contemplative process. It was not easy to step out of one's subjectivity or what Shinkei calls “self-affectation” (watashi-meki) in order to grasp the mind of another. This is reflected in Shinkei's frequent criticism of the tendency to link up solely through isolated words in the maeku, without any attempt to really understand and relate to what it is actually saying. Shinkei was referring in particular to the practice of linking through conventional word associations (engo) or verbal correspondences (yoriai), and argues that a “link” which favors a mechanical recitation of word associations instead of taking into account the meaning, conception, or feeling of the maeku is a contradiction in terms. In his concept of linking as kokorozuke, a central issue relates to the organic unity of the verse as an integral utterance by a subject with something to say.

Keywords:   Shinkei, word associations, maeku, self-affectation, mind, linking, kokorozuke, engo, yoriai, verbal correspondences

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